Barriers to be placed at popular Lake Keowee spot after three drownings in 2019

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OCONEE Co., SC (WSPA) – A popular spot on Lake Keowee is getting some safety improvements after 20 drowning deaths in nearly as many years.

“Jumping Off Rock” is one of the most popular spots on Lake Keowee. While it’s typically accessed by boat, there is a narrow shelf that sits several feet deep that people will try to cross from Fall Creek Landing.

Since 1997, the Oconee Co. Coroner’s Office told 7 News 20 people drowned in this one spot, three of which happened this year.

Duke Energy has been working with the county to make some changes.

“This is the area of concern, that’s where the closest entry point is so that’s why we are putting this fence in and improving with rip rap the coastal portion to discourage folks from using the area as a place to go swimming,” Ryan Mosier with Duke Energy said.

Map from Duke Energy showing the changes to Fall Creek Landing.

The hope is that the fencing will block off the ability to walk out the peninsula to get to the water to cross to the island.

The total costs for these upgrades will be about $200,000, according to Duke Energy. It is expected to take until the end of the year.

During the construction time, the south access boat ramps will be closed. The north side will remain open to the public.

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